Published in Drum Media (WA) | 14.03.13 | Issue # 329
DEEP PURPLE & JOURNEY
7 March, 2013
When two of the world’s biggest rock heavyweights made a brief stopover in WA, it seemed all age groups wanted to be a part of the action. But when Journey took to the stage, it seemed as if they played to a half-full arena where the majority of punters probably hadn’t been to a rock show since the band’s breakthrough album, Escape, surfaced in 1981.
In somewhat of a cliché entrance, Perth Arena darkened and a massacre of stage lights frantically darted around the venue like prison spotlights until they landed on each member. Being their debut tour of Australia, Journey were out to make a lasting first impression, and delivering a flawless set for their Perth fans that won’t be forgotten in a hurry. Classics such asAnyway You Want It, Don’t Stop Believing (despite being somewhat tainted by Glee), and Open Arms were just as epic live as they are on wax.
But Journey’s lack of interaction with Australian fans over the years became all too clear whenDeep Purple strolled out to a packed arena. Having last visited in 2010, fans obviously felt a sense of familiarity, and knew they were in for a mind-blowing performance. Camera flashes bounced off a huge curtain shielding the stage as a drum roll overpowered the band’s Star Wars-esque intro music. Before the white material had met the floor, Into The Fire was well into motion and a light show that surprisingly didn’t incite numerous seizures was engaged.
Standing in front of a ridiculous six guitar cabs, Steve Morse steered the ship most of the evening. But it was the combined talents of each member that really made Deep Purple remarkable. From vocalist Ian Gillan’s unique and powerfully diverse vocal range (at times you couldn’t tell where the screeching guitar solo ended and his voice started) to the tight and creative bass skills of Roger Glover, which didn’t reveal themselves until the set’s end.
The organ-like tone of the keyboard was most prevalent in the mix, and the band’s relatively new keyboardist, Don Airey, showed that keys definitely have their place within hard rock. When people think of Deep Purple, that thought often comes with the undeniably catchy Smoke On The Water. Closing their set with the masterpiece, no one thought an encore would do any justice, but with a twenty-minute version of Black Night, the night wrapped up with a series of solos that would have left a deafening ring in ears for weeks to follow.
Written by Daniel Cribb